Ask the Expert

Graphical tools for checking performance

I enjoyed your tip on keeping an eye on Linux performance, but I think you missed one great tool -- hotsanic. Have you used it? If so, what are its plusses and minuses?

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Most user-oriented performance tools on Linux are based on the special APIs that the kernel provides for performance measurements. So ultimately they all collect the same data. Tools like hotsanic that are highly graphical and interpreted might take up significant processing themselves. If you want really accurate performance information, you should use a compiled command line tool. For casual performance checks, hotsanic and other graphical tools make a lot of sense, because they reduce a lot of data down to simple images.

This was first published in June 2004

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